Lewis Hamilton says he expects Max Verstappen to have an “easy win” at Formula 1’s Italian Grand Prix due to the outcome of Sprint.
Hamilton, from the front row of the grid, suffered a slow getaway and dropped down to fifth spot, where he remained throughout the rest of Sprint.
Verstappen, meanwhile, shadowed Valtteri Bottas throughout and will start from pole position on account of Bottas’ engine-related grid penalty.
Bottas’ demotion will promote Hamilton to fourth, behind Verstappen and the two McLaren drivers, with Daniel Ricciardo second and third respectively.
“You saw the pace of the Red Bull,” said Hamilton.
“I don’t know if he was faster than Valtteri but now he’s on pole, so it should an easy win for him. For me, I’ve just got to try and get past these McLarens.”
The outcome of Sprint also allowed Verstappen to extend his title lead over Hamilton from three to five points.
“I think they have got more pace than they’ve had all year,” said Hamilton.
“They bring upgrades every week. From what I’m told, there’s only one race where they haven’t brought an upgrade, so they are constantly bringing performance to the car and they’ve done a great job.”